Quezon City, Philippines – The National Book Development Board (NBDB) celebrates National Literature Month with the launch of the 12th Philippine International Literary Festival, an annual gathering of readers, storytellers, and publishers. From April to December, this year’s virtual festival goes global with the theme “RECLAIMING OUR NARRATIVE: 500 Years of Filipino Storytelling.”
Newly appointed Executive Director Charisse Aquino-Tugade explains, “The festival re-examines our narratives and celebrates our great storytelling traditions. Although this pandemic has caused uncertainty, we endeavor to provide an avenue for our creatives and the wider public to connect, dialogue, and continue the creative process.”
Kickstarting the celebration are livestream events such as Author on Author and Post-Pandemic Futures, a series of lively conversations featuring Filipino creatives worldwide. The first Author on Author webcast, titled “Grit and Grime,” unpacks the creative process of some of our country’s favorite authors, while the first Post-Pandemic Futures session will be on Baybayin, the Boxer Codex, and Establishing Identity.
The NBDB will also take readers on a virtual bookstore tour starting April with My Book, My City, a directory of bookshops with virtual tours of independent bookstores from around the country.
This July, the NBDB will also launch Book Nook, a library-building program for indigenous populations around the archipelago. From Tuguegarao to Tawi-Tawi, more Pinoys will now be able to read their favorite Filipino-authored publications. A grant-giving program called Book-and-Buy is also slated this August with the mission of providing regional micro-entrepreneurs the tools they need to create their own Filipiniana Sections.
“By making quality reading material accessible, even to those living in remote areas, we hope to promote award-winning Filipino-published works recognized not only by NBDB, but also by other organizations that give awards to such exemplary works. These efforts are symbolic of NBDB’s pivot to focus more on national book publishing development and balancing that with promoting Filipino book exports through NBDB’s participation in international book fairs and similar events,” says NBDB Chairman Dante Francis Ang II.
Together with the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, this National Literature Month the National Book Development Board encourage Filipinos to be critical readers and storytellers in remembering and writing their history.
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